Gary Winogrand Essay

Submitted By mariawurtz
Words: 905
Pages: 4

Maria Wurtz

Garry Winogrand is a renowned photographer who is well known for his street photography. His best work was made in Manhattan where he portrayed American life during the 1960s. Winogrand enjoyed taking thousands of photos, yet seemed to postpone the processing of them. Garry's first wife had once said “Being married to Garry is like being married to a lens.” Therefore, after his death to cancer at age 56, he had approximately 6,600 rolls of film containing around 250,000 images that he had never seen before. According to a former student of Winogrand, when photographing, Garry was often so caught up with the energy of his subjects. He made no effort to hide the fact that he was standing in the way of his subjects and taking their pictures. Also, despite the “tilt” to many of his photos, Garry had said that he never shot from the hip, and that the tilt was a consequence of using a wide angle lens. It's also said that Winogrand deliberately waited a year or two to develop his film so he would have virtually no recollection of the act of taking an individual photograph. The Garry Winogrand exhibit helped me reflect on Garry's life and the American lifestyle of the 1960's through his “lens”. Garry Winogrand's work often focused on women. In 1975 Winogrand created his second book known as “Women Are Beautiful”, and stated “I don't know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know that the women are beautiful in the photographs.” Winogrand often captured women in many different ways, each image expressing different emotions. He captured the energy of women during the second-wave feminist revolution. One of my favorite images from the Garry Winogrand exhibit is called “New York”. This image is of a women standing in front of a store window, laughing. She seems to be holding her stomach, almost in pain from laughing too hard. As we all know, that's probably one of the greatest feelings in the world so this image captured my attention immediately. The women in the photo looks so happy and full of life, and I'm sure when Winogrand saw her laughing, he felt the same. Garry once said, “I choose a picture because I remember how good I felt when I took it”, therefore showing that this photo also brought happiness and laughter to him, just as his subject seems to feel. Winogrand's eagerness to capture women also draws my attention because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Winogrand took photos of these women because to him, they were beautiful. I think Winogrand also captured these women because these images helped ease and distract from the hysteria of 1960s America. Winogrand's work was also comical. He took photos of people when they least expected it. It's said that Garry never forced a photo, but rather let it happen, capturing these unexpected moments. Another favorite image of mine by Garry Winogrand is of a young girl looking quite angry and confused while a couple is kissing to the left of her. This photo made me laugh. It seems as though the girl is annoyed, or maybe even jealous. Also, the girl being kissed seems to be caught off guard, and looking at Winogrand as he took the photo. Another comical image by Winogrand is of a young boy following his mothers foot steps down a sidewalk. The young boy looks to be wearing mickey mouse ears, and is sluggishly striding behind his mother, while looking straight at the camera. I think both of